Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year, New Dedication

With my Christmas holidays coming to a close (as sadly, I was not one of the smart people who took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off this week), I have been trying to plan my new year. 2011 has a lot of big things planned, and I want to do it right.

2010 was a bit of a bust in review. Although I finally managed to finish all my qualifications and become a proper lawyer-in-calling, I sucked hard when it came to finding a job. Three months of agony, mentally and psychologically, was tough. I thank god for my half marathon training, because I honestly think it was the only thing that kept me sane. Well, semi-sane, between the cursing and groaning with the long runs.

Finally in September, things came together in a pile of glory: I had my first wedding anniversary, finished my first half marathon (although not achieving my time goal) and found a job! For the past three months, I feel like all I have been doing is recovering, both physically and financially. I haven't talked much about the job, partially because I am not sure what I should and shouldn't say (this being a public forum and all) but it has been going fairly well. Still some kinks to work out, like finding the groove with all the staff and getting to a point where I feel even somewhat confident in what I am doing, but it will come with time.

So, 2011 is poised to be a big year for 2 prime reasons. First, with the job being in a town a little over an hour away from where I currently live, the drive has been tough. I am getting used to it slowly, but we knew that once I took this position, we had to consider moving out of the big city and buying our own house as soon as possible. Now that I am no longer struggling to get bills paid on time, I am squirreling away money for a down payment, and expect to be in the position to buy a home sometime in the summer or fall of 2011. Yeah! No more fighting for a second parking spot, no more listening to my neighbours through paper thin walls, no more light pollution and no more wasting 2.5 hours a day in my car.

Secondly, I have a big event to attend in October, one that I need to look good for. My best friend, who put up with being mocked in order to be my "Man of Honour" at my wedding, is getting married on October 29, 2011. Did I mention he lives in England??? So, we are also frantically saving up for the hubby and I (sorry, no Munchkin on this trip!) to go to Europe for 2 weeks. First week will be the wedding, second week we will spend in France and Germany before going home. SO excited for this.

With these goals in mind, I have set some expectations for myself for the new year. I have put together a tentative race schedule which looks something like this:

May - Ottawa Race Weekend 10K

June - Warrior Dash in PA - have to see if I can convince a friend to drive 6.5 hours with me to participate! Other potential runs include the Perth Kilt Run (8k, not confirmed), Emilie's Run (5k, women only) and a small 5k run in the town I work in.

July - No Frills 10 mile run, and the Mitsubishi City Chase

August - Xerox 10K, and potentially the NY Warrior Dash if I can't do PA

September - potentially the Underwear Affair, and another shot at the Army Run 1/2 Marathon

October - Fall Colours 1/2 marathon (if Army doesn't work out), and the Rattle me Bones 10K race

December - The Santa Shuffle (5k) and Resolution Run (5 or 10k)

In reality, I think the May Race Weekend 10k, July No Frills 10 mi, one Warrior dash, one half marathon, and the Resolution Run are my must have races. The cost of those runs alone will be over $300!

With respect to more general goals, I am the stereotypical woman, and would like to focus on getting fit and losing my little gut, or about 10 pounds. I have my gym membership that I plan on taking advantage of at LEAST 2 times a week, but aiming for 3-4 times a week with some pool time, some regular runs, and some HIIT training sessions. Not to mention some time on the StairMaster from hell:

Personally, I would like to love my job. I don't think I am there yet. I have my first court appearances next week, and am terrified. At least my first trial is against someone who is not represented by counsel, but it is still horrifically scary. I have fleeting thoughts that maybe I am not cut out for this job. Some days I am super interested, other days, it is mundane paperwork I would rather not be doing. I hope to find a groove, and really start getting my feet wet. How long after you graduate and start working do you realize whether you made the right career choice? How can you tell if you like the job and the job location, just one of those two things, or neither? It worries me.

Financially, I want things to be routine. Have a budget, stick to it, save like crazy for the house and trip, and start getting ahead in life. I will still be living like a student most of the time, but enjoying the things I get as a result of that effort. I might splurge on myself every once and a while too.....

Ok, so my task for YOU in 2011: Go after what you want. Figure out what matters, focus on it and make a plan to get it. Whether that be in life, in running, whatever. Let me know what your goals, hopes and dreams are for 2011, and let me help you be accountable to those goals. I hope you will push me too. Having someone there who knows what you set your mind to is a very strong motivator.

SO, what are YOUR goals for 2011???

P.S - Despite being dumb and not taking off work tomorrow and Thursday, I will be driving 9 hours to go and visit my parents from the 31st to the 3rd. So no updates from me. :( But I am recommitting to this blogging thing, so check in soon after for an update on my running, and whether I failed miserably at trial! Self -depreciation for the win.... :P

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Unexpected Cross Training

First, let me say, I suck. I haven't been blogging, I haven't been running. My gym opening got pushed back, and it has been BLOODY cold up here (more on that later). So, sorry my followers, I am trying to get my butt in gear.

I thought I would jump back into bloggy world with an interesting example of how life sometimes forces you to get out there, and cross train in ways you never expected to, or really wanted to. This is the story of my day:

I wake up, dressed in my go to PJ's these days, which consist of one of my hubby's sweaters, and a pair of jogging pants. Comfortable lounge wear. I make my bed, and start sorting the laundry for my Sunday morning ritual of getting the ever-present task out of the way for another week. I sort everything out while my hubby, stepdaughter and devil of a Dog, Daisy, are downstairs. As a note, Daisy is a small terror dog we adopted a while ago from a local shelter. We love her, but she has some unsavoury traits we haven't managed to train out of her. She's a 25 pound Boston/Pug mix.

So here I am, in my jammies, starting to lug a big basket of laundry down the stairs when I hear a big THUD, and then my stepdaughter BAWLING, like I only hear when she's definitely hurt herself. I run down the stairs, expecting to find her bleeding or curled up in the fetal position, only to hear other words that I dread: "The dog is gone."

Yes, Daisy has the awful habit of being a Houdini and running off whenever she can. Problem is, she has no recall (or cares to ignore us) has no idea how to find her home again, and tends to gravitate towards people, who tend to be on the other side of public roads. We lost her once before, only to find her at the local 6! lane road, at a CAR ACCIDENT!

So, I freak. I throw on the boots, still in my PJ's, and bolt out of the door. As a note, the weather outside is about -5 Celsius (so 22 Fahrenheit), with about 3 inches of snow on the ground. I go to our back yard, and start frantically following her paw prints on the ground. I run behind all the other townhouses, until I think I have her cornered by a fence. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this back corner isn't a dead end, but instead leads to a small opening through to thick brush, a steep hill and a creek, before having another hill on the other side, and a 6 lane, 100km/hr highway on the other side. Of course, I think SHIT. So I have to cross this creek (in leaky boots, in my PJ's, to tail my dog, who is still running away from me. Brush is cutting into me, ripping my pants, giving me burrs everywhere. But I continue to follow the damn dog. Doing everything I can think of to lure her back. I call her name pleasantly, say I have treats, say I have a cookie, say I have her toys, everything. No dice.

At this point, I am a few blocks away from my house in thick brush, panting from exertion but soaked to the bone and freezing at the same time. Great combination, I know. I then see the dog go through another area, which appeared to be the underside supports and foundation for a house or a patio, which has about 2.5 ft clearance. I continue on behind her, doing my best not to whack my head on the wood above my head. Then onto more brush, more water, more pain.

FINALLY, I am exhausted. I can't run anymore. I start walking, and notice Daisy is walking too. She finally stops and sits, realizes she isn't built to be out in this weather, and calmly walks back to me. Success! However, I suddenly realize I have a BIG problem. I am physically drained, and need to carry my 25 pound dog back to my house the way I came, which includes climbing a steep incline with the dog in my arms, cutting through more brush, etc. I am so tired by this point I can't even walk for more than a minute without having to sit down in the snow, which my dog in my arms for a minute to recoop. Clearly, the situation is going from bad to worse. We are isolated, and I am getting very tired, very fast. I cut back to the foundation/deck, and convince my dog to walk while I hold her collar and crawl behind her. With a little more cross country trekking I am in my neighbourhood again. I am swaying, struggling to get home and not lose this dog, the bain of my existence once again. Granted at this point, I am pretty sure she wouldn't have the strength to run, as she is shivering in my arms.

I finally get around the corner and see my stepdaughter outside our house, and manage to yell to her to get my hubby. He comes outside, and I tell him to take the dog, because I can't walk and carry her one more step. I stumble into the house and struggle to catch my breath while trying not to throw up. I swear, at that moment I was more tired than I was crossing the finish line at my half marathon. I couldn't calm my system down; I had a headache, my body was trembling, my muscles weren't in my control. After a few minutes, a glass of water, a quick acting Advil and some new clothing, I managed to get things somewhat in line. A few more glasses of water and a hot bath brought me around even further. I was SO glad it was all over, and beyond the point of even being mad at the dog since I was so exhausted.

12 hours later, the dog is fine, but I am still feeling like my lungs are messed up. I take a deep breath launch into uncontrollable coughing, feeling like I am suffering from a lung infection that took hold the minute I came into the house. I am hoping that feeling will pass after a good night's sleep, and that I don't have freaking pneumonia for Christmas. What a present that would be?

Anyways, that's my entertaining story for the day. I guess I realize now I can run outside in the winter, but I am still opting for a treadmill in a nice warm gym, starting this week. Hopefully I will have an updated running schedule and new years resolutions in the next couple of days, for now, in case I don't check in before, have a Merry Christmas, and I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Start in December

Well, after having a kind of shitty month of November, I am hoping that December will bring good habits along with good cheer. I will not recap my November goals, because the fact that I failed miserably will depress me even more than I have been lately. Needless to say, with injuries, bad weather, the long commute and time change, I have not been doing so well in the running department. Or in the food department. Or in the "not being a crankypants" department.

Moving on, I'd like to believe that December will be better. I have hope. It seems to be a popular month for bloggy-runner birthdays, and I can say I am one of the crowd - I celebrate my birthday this weekend. No big plans - I don't know if I am happy or sad about that.

My problem with this Christmas season and December in general this year is that it wasn't the best year. When I was employed before being called to the bar and becoming a lawyer, everything was going well, we were saving money, and we had two big things planned: 1) to build a downpayment and buy a house, and 2) take my stepdaughter to Disney in Orlando with my parents for Christmas. Then I found myself unemployed, the downpayment fund rapidly shrunk due to bills, and we had to cancel on my parents. Despite my mom's health problems this year, my parents are still going, and I feel all kinds of awful about it. I feel bad I won't be able to see my parents over Christmas, that I can't see for myself how my mom is really recovering from her surgery (I know things aren't 100% yet, which has me concerned), I feel upset that we can't go because we could all use the vacation, and I feel sorry that we can't manage it for the Munckin, who is at the PERFECT age to go.

So, my December goals primarily revolve around not being depressing, and staying positive. I need to do more things for me, as my life these days is tending to revolve around what has to be done for work and home, with me as an afterthought. So, here are the plans:

1) get moving - my gym opening was delayed again, but I hope to build time into my schedule to swim or run, do something to get the endorphins flowing
2) try to plan a visit with my parents - they are about 8 hours away from me, but I think I need to go down (may have to be sans-hubby and stepchild due to scheduling conflicts) and see my parents. I am worried about them, and for the first time in a long time, homesick.
3) I need to stop being such a hippy and get a haircut! lol, at least figure out what is going on with my hair, which I have been letting grow out for about a year. No ideas what to do with it yet.
4) Treat myself - I want to set up a massage, either alone or with my husband, to relax a bit.
5) Plan my races for next year - I want to get my schedule worked out asap, so I can be motivated again. I would like to aim for at least 4 races, if not more, and possibly two that are international. Just an idea I am toying with....

Not the best goals exercise wise, but it will have to do given the current circumstances. Seems like everyone is destined to wind down a bit this time of year. I will try my best to get off my butt, no matter how hard it is after a 12 hour day away from home.

So I'm trying to check in more, but I feel like I am failing you all. Not running = boring, depressing life. Anything I can write about to entertain you all? Shopping ideas? Lawyer jokes? Entertaining running slogans? Anything? Let me know!

P.S - to any of my Jewish readers - Happy Hanukkah!